Butcher R, Gadd K. Library services and internal medicine: Collaborative evaluation of evidence-based point-of-care medical applications for mobile devices. CHLA / ABSC, 2012.

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Haynes "5S" levels of evidence

Contents

Introduction

See also How to appraise POC tools | Point of care evaluation criteria | Research Portal for Academic Librarians

See poster Library services and internal medicine: Collaborative evaluation of evidence-based point-of-care medical applications for mobile devices

Authors

  • Robyn Butcher, Kathleen Gadd

Introduction

We present the initial results of a three-way collaborative study between the UNBSJ library, Horizon Health Network Saint John Library Services and the HHN internal medicine teaching unit in which librarians and resident physicians independently evaluated medical apps. A scoring rubric was developed to evaluate point of care medical apps. The rubric can be used by any health care professional to assess diagnosis and treatment apps that enter the market.

Methods

Two librarians conducted literature reviews in the spring of 2011 to seek out validated tools for evaluating medical apps. None were found, thus published reviews of desktop point of care products were consulted. This literature along with professional experience was used to create the scoring rubric which grades apps out of a possible 100 points. The apps were assessed in the following areas: content, transparency and evidence. The rubric was distributed for peer-review and the final iteration was used independently by two librarians.

Results

The apps that scored over 50 were chosen to move on to assessment on the floor by residents (ongoing). The apps were nearly equivalent in transparency. The highest variation was in content. Evidence showed the greatest polarization: apps either scored high or low.

Discussion

The range of scores in our study demonstrates the difference in quality among apps. Nearly all of them market themselves as evidence-based however there are no standard criteria to define the term. Librarians should evaluate point of care medical apps based on the evidence for the health care professional community.

Summary

  1. The study demonstrated the utility of an objective evaluation tool that other library or health professionals can easily use
  2. The study is a model of a successful collaboration between various departments and institutions
  3. Point of care apps vary considerably in the rigor of their evidence, timeliness of their updates and transparency

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